Published: Thu, June 29, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Liu Xiaobo: China tells United States not to interfere over jailed dissident

Liu Xiaobo: China tells United States not to interfere over jailed dissident

Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo, victor of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, has been released from prison for cancer treatment, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

"It is China's internal affair, and any country does not have a right to intervene in China's domestic affairs and make unfounded statements".

Liu has been fighting for a more open and democratic China since working as a key leader during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said he was awarded the prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".

He has no special plans.

Human Rights in China executive director Sharon Hom: "We can not stand by silently".

"Adding injury to insult, Liu Xiaobo has been diagnosed with a grave illness in prison, where he should never have been put in the first place", Patrick Poon, China researcher at global rights group Amnesty International, told AFP.

China director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richarson, has suggested the Nobel Prize Committee ought to fly over to Shenyang immediately to force Liu's release.

Shortly after Liu was awarded the prize, Liu Xia was placed under house arrest.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and was represented by an empty chair at the ceremony, as he was by then in prison.

As recently as February, Liu Xiaobo's brother dismissed reports that the Nobel Peace laureate might be ill in prison.

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Liu's wife tweeted at the time that, upon hearing the news from her during a prison visit, he started to cry and said: "This is for the martyrs of Tiananmen Square". They normalized ties in December past year. In April, Beijing finally normalized relations with Oslo after a six-year hiatus.

The Chinese authorities say he is a criminal and have repeatedly jailed him for his protests against their rule.

US Senator Marco Rubio, co-chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, issued a statement urging US President Donald Trump to seek Liu Xiaobo's "immediate humanitarian transfer to the United States".

Hu Jia, a fellow activist, said that the family wanted Liu to be treated in Beijing, where hospitals are better, or overseas, but that Chinese authorities had other plans, possibly fearing unrest ahead of big political meetings scheduled for the fall.

On May 23 Liu was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.

"It's very hard to understand why his illness is only being treated at the last stage", said Amnesty International's Patrick Poon.

The Chinese government confirmed Liu's diagnosis and parole in a statement released late Monday.

After the crackdown, Mr. Liu was jailed for 21 months, the first of several prison terms he served for his pro-democracy organizing.

The global community has been calling for his release for years.

But a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in Beijing said they were unaware of the details of Liu's case when asked about him at a regular news briefing on Monday.

With her communication with the outside world nearly completely cut, friends say she has been suffering severe depression and nervous breakdowns, especially after the authorities sentenced her brother to 11 years in prison over what supporters call trumped-up charges of business fraud.

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